SUBLIME filling of the popular-cultural no-man’s-land between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day with a set of short but charming mini-documentaries on a handful of erstwhile childrens’ TV favourites too old to still be ‘on’ but too recent to be properly nostalgised over yet: Tiswas, Play School, Vision On, the Smallfilms ouvre, Crackerjack, an odds-and-ends collection taking in Bill & Ben/Trumptonshire/Fingerbobs/Captain Pugwash/Mr Benn, and most infamously of all, a startling look back at the rivalry between Blue Peter and Magpie, peppered with guarded inter-presenter verbal barbs and hinting at all manner of shadowy The Fourth K-esque management power struggles behind the scenes. No wonder Noakes and Shep were so keen to ‘Go’! Packed to the ‘white void’ studio rafters with original contributors and bizarre anecdotes about stolen Teds, incinerated Mintons, foul-mouthed Clangers, New York taxi drivers shouting ‘COMPOST CORNER!’, ‘baby bump’-concealing scenery, Hamble-torture, Gilliam/Yellow Sumbarine-emulation, Leo Sayer fuming at theft of trademark ‘perm’, hypothermia-afflicted future Doctor Whos, backstage Play School joint-toking, and sticking two fingers up at Noel Edmonds, and with nary a second-rate standup doing that counting an imaginary ‘witty’ list off on their fingers thing in sight, this was – in a very real sense – what they want. Not to mention inspiring someone, somewhere to upload a handful of Fred Harris JPEGs…Read More
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Creamguide's Pick of the Day
We’re delighted to report that the advent crown is back on Blue Peter, Radzi introducing it two weeks ago by pointing out it first appeared on the show fifty years ago and this year’s incarnation keeps the original design, although they’re now using battery- operated candles. It seems that after a wobbly few years Blue Peter is happy to embrace its traditions again and so the Christmas show, which this is, now has more or less all the familiar aspects presents and correct including the Christmas crib and the Salvation Army Band (Salford branch, mind, rather than Chalk Farm), and usually on a large scale whether that’s outside or in MediaCity reception. The only problem is the date but that’s Christmas on a Thursday for you. Wonder if it’ll be on Christmas Eve next year?
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Points of View
- In '1990', Applemask says: "The Only Fools and Horses episode is also notable for being “Rodney Come Home”, one of the most relentlessly bleak programmes ever to be broadcast..."
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- In 'The six worst TV Times Christmas covers', TV Cream says: "Des, you’re right! Fixed the date."
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